Steel mills and iron ore end-users located in the eastern Indian state of Odisha have asked the state government to put a cap on iron ore prices to ensure the viability of the pandemic-hit industry in the region, SteelOrbis has learned from government and industry officials on Thursday, May 28.
The officials said that steel and other allied industries represented by Kalinganagar Industries Association, a body of companies in the industries belt in the state, have written to the state government seeking that Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC), the state government’s mining and mineral arm, should either supply iron ore at cost or set a cap of INR 2,000/mt ($26/mt) until March 2021 for the sustainable operations of steel companies in the region.
The association pointed out that state-miner NMDC Limited has reduced prices of iron ore lumps and fines by INR 800/mt ($5/mt) over the past two months and sought that the state government-run miner OMC should follow suit in reducing or capping the price of iron ore supplied to steel mills and other end-use industries. The latest prices for fines from NMDC have been settled at INR 1,960/mt, as Steelorbis reported earlier.
It was pointed out that an e-auction conducted by OMC last month failed to attract even one bid as the reserve price was set at INR 2,800/mt ($37/mt), which was considered too high and no user industry submitted any bid as raw material at such high prices would make their operations unviable.